About Caroline Preble

I'm a gal who thinks that there is always a reason to celebrate! I am a wife and mom to two great girls, and a former elementary teacher who has turned my love for all things fun and creative into a website to share with friends everywhere.

Valentine’s Day Paper Crafts

Paper Crafts for Valentine's Day

This past week my girls and I had a few free moments together and we thought it would be fun to do a few Valentine’s Day paper crafts together. We decided to see if we could make some pretty decorations that could help decorate the house a bit for Valentine’s Day. We came up with two different, yet surprisingly easy, craft ideas — A Valentine’s Day winter branch bouquet and a paper heart wreath. Here is how we put them together…

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Valentine’s Heart Bouquet

Materials:Valentine's Day branch bouquet

  • An assortment of bare branches
  • A jar or vase
  • Dirt, sand, small stones or other material to anchor your branches
  • Colored paper (or other small decorations to hang on branches)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ribbon (optional)

Directions:

  1. Assemble your branches in your jar.
  2. Cut out some paper hearts and other decorations and glue them to your branches. (You might also add some glitter, stickers, or any other decorative elements that you like. Whatever strikes your fancy!)
  3. Finish by adding a bow to the neck  of your jar.




Paper Heart Wreath

Materials: Paper heart wreath

  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue and glue dots
  • Ribbon

Directions:

  1. Cut 2″ x 11″ strips of colored paper (between 8-12 strips makes a good size wreath.)
  2. Fold each strip in half, making a sharp crease.
  3. Fold the ends together and glue into the shape of a heart. (You’ll need to hold each one for a minute to make sure it stays in place.)
  4. Use glue dots to stick your hearts together and form a circular wreath.
  5. As you are forming your wreath, add your ribbon (still using the glue dots) between the top 3 or 4 hearts to form a hanger.

This project took only about a half hour from start to finish. Super easy! For more Valentine’s Day ideas, take a look at our Valentine Party page.

 

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Valentine Lunch Box Notes

free printable valentine lunch box notes to cut, print and send off!

Valentine’s Day is coming soon — time for hearts, flowers, and special surprises! One of my own kids’ very favorite treats has always been getting a special love note from home tucked into their lunch boxes (or as they got older hidden in their backpacks, gym clothes, or computer cases.) We thought it would be fun to create some free printable Valentine lunch box notes for you to give to your own kiddos in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. You might also use them as a little surprise for your sweetheart, because really, who ever outgrows the fun of a special love note!

We made two separate sheets of Valentine lunch box printables for you to choose from. One has pre-printed messages and one has blank hearts so you can write your own notes. Just click on the images below to access the downloadable pdf. file for each set of printables.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Valentine Lunch Box Notes

Free printable Valentine lunch box notes Free printable Valentine lunch box notes

Click on either picture to print!

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Valentine's Day party ideasIf you are looking for even more ideas to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day, hop on over to our Valentine’s Day party ideas page for lots of inspirations!




Buffalo Cauliflower for the Super Bowl

buffalo cauliflower recipe

It’s almost time for Super Bowl Sunday! Yay! Being a gal living in Portland, Oregon, I have to say that I am totally rooting for the Seahawks this year (sorry Patriots fans).

Sunday, February 1st is Super Bowl Sunday, and the big game airs at 3:30 pm Pacific time (6:30 Eastern time).

If you are looking for a healthy, yet yummy snacking option while watching the game, why not try this recipe for roasted  buffalo cauliflower.

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Buffalo Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (double or triple recipe if you are hosting a big group)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Buffalo hot sauce
  • Blue cheese dip (buy or make your own by combining 3/4 cup of lowfat sour cream with 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese)

Directions:

  • Cut cauliflower into bite-sized chunksoven roasted buffalo cauliflower
  • Whisk together flour, water, and 1 Tbsp buffalo sauce
  • Add cauliflower and toss to coat
  • Roast in oven at 425 degrees until deep golden brown (takes about 15 or so minutes)
  • Toss with more hot sauce and roast for an additional 10 minutes
  • Serve with blue cheese dip, celery and carrots

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Want some great supplies and tableware for your Super Bowl party? Here are some items  that we really like:

Football Lanterns
Football Lanterns
Football Plastic Table Cover
Football Table Cover
NFL Drive Deluxe Party Pack For 8
NFL Party Supplies
Football Props
Football Party Props

 

Football Party IdeasLooking for even more great Super Bowl party ideas? Be sure to check out the football party page on our website, visit our blog, or follow us on Pinterest!

Follow Creative Party Themes’s board Football party ideas on Pinterest.

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Super Bowl Chili

Super Bowl chili recipe

Next Sunday, February 4th, is the Super Bowl! This year will be Super Bowl LII, held in the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Whether you are a football fan, or just tuning in for the half time show and all the great commercials, one thing guaranteed to make Super Bowl Sunday better is some amazing Super Bowl chili!

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We have a tradition in our house every year of getting together with friends on Super Bowl Sunday, and this recipe, commonly referred to by all the kids as “Super Bowl Chili”, is always the much anticipated highlight. It is an adaptation of the recipe originally found in The Silver Palate Cookbook, and it makes enough to keep a hungry group fed (with leftovers)! Here is how to make it:

SUPER BOWL CHILI RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. yellow onions (approx.), coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage meat, taken out of casings
  • 4 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 12 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 oz. cumin
  • 2 oz. chili powder
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. basil
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 3 lb. canned Italian plum tomatoes, drained (about 2 1/2 -3 cans each 2lb. before draining)
  • 1/4 cup Burgundy wine
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill  (**I think the dill gives this chili it’s great flavor, so I sometimes add a bit more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cans (16 oz. each) dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans (5 1/2 oz. each) pitted black olives, drained

** For garnishing at serving time you will also want to have sour cream, chopped white onion, grated cheddar cheese, and Tabasco for those who like extra heat.




DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a very large soup kettle. Add the onions and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender and translucent.
  2. Crumble your meats into the kettle and cook them at medium-high heat, stirring often, until they are well browned. Spoon off as much fat as possible.
  3. Over low heat stir in black pepper, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, salt, basil, and oregano.
  4. Add the drained tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley, and drained kidney beans.  Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
  5. Taste to see how the flavors are and make any adjustments. Add olives and simmer for another five minutes to heat through.

football party ideas
For more ideas to make your Super Bowl Sunday special, be sure to hop over to our Football Party Ideas page!

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